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Orthotics:  What are they and do you need them?

Step one what is an orthotic

An orthotic is a specialized shoe insert to help the foot function more at a normal level. 

Why would you need orthotics

Some of us are born with bad feet these people usualy know from an early age that they need orthotics to be comfortable.

Some people after long periods of time on hard ground such as concrete or asphalt get achy feet.  Your feet may after a period of time need help to maintain their position through the day.

Are all orthotics created equal?

No, is the simple answer.  Orthotics vary greatly in size, shape and quality.

There are over the counter orthotics or shoe inserts that help to support the feet and give some shock absorbtion.  These are a great starting point because they are inexpensive.  If they help great, if not you may need more help than what they provide.

The next step is a formed orthotic.  These are a bit more expensive than the over the counter model, give a bit more support, and may last longer.  The thing with these is they are still generic.  These are not formed or molded to your feet.  Just insert them into your shoe and away you go.  Again, these can help many but if they do not solve your problem you may need more help.

The next step up would be a custom orthotic.  These come in many shapes and forms.  From a cast made at the orthotic place to a moldable or built up orthotic made at the place of purchase.  Custom means that it is formed to your feet.  Is this always the best, no, but it does make them much more comfortable.

Custom Functional Orthotics are the next step up from custom.  Custom to fit the bottom of the foot but functional to accommodate the attempt to get the foot into an ideal position for function.  This is when Chiropractors tend to build a great orthotic.  We adjust the foot before making the orthotic, then when finalizing shape and function of the orthotic it is based on your foot specifically.  

If you have any more questions about orthotics please feel free to contact me.